ArcelorMittal South Africa announces decarbonisation roadmap

VANDERBIJLPARK – In its 2021 (inaugural) Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, ArcelorMittal South Africa communicated that it was planning to play its part in achieving the ArcelorMittal group’s 2050 net-zero carbon goal.

The Decarbonisation Roadmap (Carbon Footprint Roadmap) is a bold endeavour that will guide the work required to reach ArcelorMittal South Africa’s decarbonisation commitments.

As the Company progresses towards net zero, implementation of the ArcelorMittal group’s systems, technology and intellectual property will represent real knowledge transfer to South Africa. Confidence in the Company’s ability to achieve net zero is substantially bolstered by the support of the group’s many experts and its ongoing investments.

The Decarbonisation Roadmap is based on the implementation of clear actions and interventions. However, it is by no means cast in stone and will be subject to regular updates and changes as breakthrough technologies emerge and are proven – which will influence how the Company ultimately implements its energy transition.

Key features of the Decarbonisation Roadmap are:

  • Targeting a reduction of ArcelorMittal South Africa’s carbon intensity from 2.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide per tonne of crude steel (tCO2/tCS) in 2018 to 2.16 tCO2/tCS by 2030, and a residual 0.4 tCO2/tCS by 2050.
  • Based on these targets, the Company will have succeeded in reducing its carbon intensity by 25% by 2030, and 86% by 2050, with residual emissions being offset by yet-to-be-developed technologies and/or carbon offset arrangements.

The Decarbonisation Roadmap sets out key assumptions and initiatives supporting implementation. These include:

  • One of the two Blast Furnaces at Vanderbijlpark undergoing a reline and upgrade between 2027 and 2030 and the commissioning of a suitable electric arc furnace (EAF) in Vanderbijlpark. This means that in 2030, in addition to the EAF, one Blast Furnace will then be permanently closed, and another returned to service as a low carbon-enabled furnace.
  • The substantial transformation of the Company’s current electricity supply will require an active, real transition from coal-based electricity to electricity from renewables and other clean sources. In this regard the Company has announced projects to generate at least 200 megawatts of renewable power on its premises.
  • Collaboration with various partners and potential opportunities related to the use of green hydrogen in Saldanha resulting in the production of lower carbon steel.
  • Opportunities at Vanderbijlpark for capture and the conversion of process carbon into various much-needed net-zero energy and chemical products.

Kobus Verster, CEO of ArcelorMittal South Africa, said: “The Decarbonisation Roadmap is based on clear actions that can support the achievement of the Company’s decarbonisation targets. It is testimony to our commitment to becoming a net-zero steel business by 2050. Implementation of our Decarbonisation Roadmap will not only change the way the Company operates but will be a catalyst for changing the steel industry and the economy of South Africa.”

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